Participants celebrating the opening ceremonies at a Native Nations event.
Participants celebrating the opening ceremonies at a Native Nations event.

Native American tribes lived in North America prior to the arrival of European settlers. French and British colonists forced many tribes out of their original lands, especially those along the east coast of today's United States. Six tribes ultimately settled in Ohio. A mixture of Algonquin and Iroquois tribes lived in longhouses and wigwams throughout Ohio's fertile areas and river valleys.

Ottowa

The Ottowa Indians moved from their original home in Canada to northern Ohio in the 1740s to participate in the fur trade with the British. Many of the Ottowa settled along the Maumee, Cuyahoga and Sandusky Rivers. The Ottowa and their famous chief, Pontiac, fought to push the British out of their territory but later sided with the British to fight the Americans in the Revolutionary War. After continued fighting and surrendering their land to the Americans in the Treaty of Greeneville, the remaining Ottowas reside on a reservation in Kansas.

Mingo

The Mingo, sometimes called the Ohio Seneca Indians, migrated from New York to live in Ohio in the mid-1700s. Originally settling in Steubenville, the Mingo continued migrating west to live in central Ohio. They lived in villages of longhouses on the Scioto and Sandusy Rivers. One Mingo village was located in today's Columbus, Ohio. Captain William Crawford led an attack against this village leading to the dispersal of the Mingo among other tribes.

Wyandot

After being attacked by the Iroquois in Ontario, the Wyandot Indians moved to northern Ohio, where they built the majority of their settlements in today's Wyandot, Marion and Crawford counties. The Wyandots were known as warriors and burned Colonel William Crawford at the stake after he led an expedition against them. Surrendering their land to the Americans in the Treaty of Greeneville, the Wyandot were the last of Ohio's Native American tribes to leave when they joined others on a reservation in Kansas in 1843.

Miami

Originally from Illinois, Indiana and southern Michigan, the Miami Indians migrated to the Maumee River valley of Ohio in 1700. Known as the strongest of Ohio's tribes, the Miami also fought with the British against the Americans during the Revolutionary War. Miami's leader, Little Turtle, led at least two victories against American armies until they were defeated by General Anthony Wayne in the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. After surrendering their lands in the Greeneville Treaty, the Miami moved to Indiana and a reservation in Kansas.

Shawnee

The Shawnee Indians lived in modern day Ohio beginning in the 1600s. After the Iroquois drove them out, they returned to the lower Scioto River Valley. The Shawnee and the Wyandots had a close relationship, whereas some of the other tribes occasionally fought one another. The Wyandot referred to the Shawnee as their "nephews." The Shawnees were also fierce warriors who fought with the British against the Americans in the Revolutionary War. The Shawnees were also defeated at the Battle of Fallen Timbers and surrendered their land in the Treaty of Greeneville, but they did not give up the fight. After fleeing to Indiana, famous Chief Tecumseh initiated a union of all Native America tribes west of the Appalachian Mountains to fight the Americans. The confederation failed and some of the Shawnees assimilated while others relocated to a reservation in Kansas.

Delaware

Originally from today's New Jersey, the Delaware Indians fled west to escape British colonists. The Delaware, also called Lenape, ultimately ended up in eastern and northwestern Ohio. The Delaware allied with the French, but found themselves alone after the French abandoned their colonies after the Treaty of Paris ending the French and Indian War. The Delaware Indians split during the Revolutionary War. Some fought with the British against the Americans, but many tried to stay neutral because of their fear of American victory. American troops defeated the few Delawares that remained after the Gnadenhutten Massacre at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, who surrendered their land with the Treaty of Greeneville.